joel-ward-first-pitch-nats

Photo: Brad Mills

Classy. The Washington Nationals are not as near and dear to my heart as the Baltimore Orioles, but they did something super awesome on Thursday, when they had Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward throw out the first pitch before their game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Ward getting the opportunity to throw out the first pitch after a career year is cool enough on its own, but doubly so because it came on Jackie Robinson Day at Nats Park. Ward wears #42 in honor of the Dodger legend.

After getting some advice from Nats pitcher Ross Detwiler, Ward stepped to the mound confidently and delivered a perfect strike. Though the heave was a bit of a moonshot.

Fellow Capitals Troy Brouwer, Tom Wilson, and Connor Carrick also came out to support The Big Cheese and take in a ballgame before leaving town for the summer.

More goofy photos below!

https://twitter.com/washcaps/status/456927172541026304/photo/1

lol Nats.

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  • Lawrence

    Is that a playoff beard on Ward? :(

  • TroyBrouwersMustache

    That last video makes this entire article.

  • Sydney Brock

    A couple other guys too, http://instagram.com/p/m6cs8uDvCc/

  • OVECHKING

    I can do nothing but stand up and applaud Joel. Growing up in Scarborough and tearing up the GTHL he had a promising young career. However, things didn’t turn out how he wanted immediately as he went undrafted to the NHL. He bounced around from the OHL, WCHL and ended up playing CIS hockey until the Wild invited to camp and he finally got his professional break. Of course, his perseverance wasn’t just limited on the ice but also to what societal barriers placed on him for being a black hockey player and he still fights that battle like many others today. Congrats to him on his career year this year.

    They say fortune favours the bold, it certainly has for you Joel.

  • Simonezero

    Don’t mind the massive AWWW I just let out.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland
  • Sarah

    It’s springtime, the Flyers got whooped, and now this coolness. Hooray! Going to bed so happy…

  • Sarah

    On the downside: no, it is not. But on the upside: no, it is not, it looks quite nice, and not at all like the wrong end of a dog. (coughcough*Gudas*cough)

  • Chris Cerullo

    Got smashed by Wainwright and the Cards. So many errors, so much sadness.

  • JenniferH

    Niiiiiiiice. :)

  • kuznetsy

    I knew Chimera had to be there!

    #bffs

  • CapsPsycho

    My favorite Cap, easily.

  • Megan

    Still cant get over Wardo’s bucket hat lol

  • wardo420

    Them 3′s is fresh tho

  • Bilal

    well said Ovechking….Well Said (lets ignore that last conversation we had, k?)

  • http://www.twitter.com/jennrubenstein jennrubenstein

    not much makes me happier than caps players in nats gear (and vice versa). i love when players from my 2 favorite dc teams are buddies. i want to like this picture 100 times.

  • CanadianCapsFan

    i grew up playing hockey in the scarborough/pickering area nearly a decade after ward did, and still saw an outrageous amount of prejudice against black players. Can’t imagine how bad it must have been in the 80s, so just from that i have a tremendous amount of respect for Ward. But then as a former CIS player myself I can’t believe what it would have taken for him to get to NHL.

    When I played (2007-2011), even the star players on my team didn’t expect to play, the few bold enough to say that it was still there goal were laughed out of the room. The few who did really try and pursue a career out of it came from money and could afford to chase a dream. That ward, who came from a working class family, took that gamble is an incredible testament to his dedication to the sport. Couldn’t be happier for the guy, he deserves a the success in the world.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    downvoting for lack of Orioles

  • Brackaphobia

    We’ll see what happens after the All Star Break :coughcough: Orioles collapse :coughcough